Understanding Sex and Gender

Gender Stratification:  Males' and females' unequal access to power, prestige, and property on the basis of their sex

Master Status:  A status that cuts across the other statuses than an individual occupies

Sex:  Biological characteristics that distinguish females and males, consisting of primary and secondary sex characteristics

Gender:  Culturally and socially constructed differences between females and males that are based on meanings, beliefs, and practices that a group or society associates with "femininity or "masculinity" 

Discrimination:  Actions or practices of dominate group members (or their representatives) that have a harmful impact on members of subordinate groups

Patriarchy:  A society or group in which men dominate women, authority is vested in males. 

Feminism:  The philosophy that men and women should be politically, economically, and socially equal; organized activities on behalf of this principle

Sexism:  The subordinate of one sex, usually female,. based on the assumed superiority of the other sex

Gender Division of Labor:   The process whereby productive tasks are separated on the basis of gender

Gender Bias:   A situation in which favoritism is shown towards one gender
Wage Gap:  The disparity between women's and men's earnings

Comparable Worth:   The belief that wages ought to reflect the worth of a job, not the gender or race of the worker 

Glass Ceiling:  The mostly invisible barrier constructed by male management that prevents women from reaching top positions in major corporations and other large-scale organizations 

Glass Escalator:  The mostly invisible accelerators that push men into higher-level positions, more desirable work assignments, and higher salaries

Sexual Harassment:  The abuse of one's position of authority to force unwanted sexual demands, advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature on another